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What do Financial Planning Clients Really Want?

Well after a long 8 months of researching, interviewing, writing, editing, emails & phone calls the “What do Financial Planning Clients Really Want?” book is officially released today. Yeaaahhh!

With the recent global financial crisis, the professional financial planning market within Australia has changed significantly. With the market becoming more regulated and competitive than ever, clients expect more from their advisers to not only guide them through the complexity of investment and risk products but to help protect and grow their financial wealth through quality and professional advice. Never before have financial planners been in a position to make a real and lasting difference for their existing and prospective clients.

What do Financial Planning Clients really want? gives advisers the necessary insights to better understand the mindset, motivations and expectations of people who have never used, used once or have an ongoing relationship with a financial planner.

Through a series of 20 interviews I asked questions like:

What do you think a financial planner does?

Was your financial planner experience different to what you were expecting?

When it comes to choosing a financial planner, are age and/or gender important?

If you were to use a financial planner, what are the things you would look for?

The interviews were conducted with real people from all around Australia. Their names were changed to protect their identity, but they gave me their frank and open thoughts on financial planners and the industry.

The survival of financial planning firms will lie in the ability of their advisers to initiate and build long-term relationships with their clients. It is the professionalism and strength of these relationships that translates to the competitive advantage gained for the firm and its long-term business prospects.

See you next post.

James E

Help your clients check you out!

Recently I was meeting with the CEO of a well-known architectural firm in Sydney. This particular CEO really knows his stuff – he is on the ball, has a good head for the big picture & detail and when he needs the right advice from external professionals he seeks out only the very best he can afford. He is one of those client-types who take people on face value, but at the same time will check and validate an advisers skill set, experience and reputation within his own network which usually consists of friends, colleagues, other business owners and sometimes clients of the adviser he is wanting to bring on.

Most CEOs, CFOs and business owners are not like the CEO I met above either because they’re time poor or have other reasons for not doing what they need to do.  A lot of them take the default position and think we can’t go wrong if we hire a “Big Four firm” when they need external accounting help. However, that might not be the right fit for the need at hand.

All accountants from both the big end of end and the small end need to make it simple and straightforward for their clients and prospective clients to “check them out” How does one do this? Simple. Invite your prospective client and a current client to a conveniently located cafe, introduce them to each other, buy them each a coffee & cake and then leave. If you are a half decent accountant that has done the right thing by their client(s) the words your client shares with your prospect will be far more valuable and authentic than anything you can possibly say!

Keep well and see you next post.

James E